MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Republican lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton continue to spar over the Real ID bill.
The bill would allow Minnesotans to choose whether or not to get high-security driver’s licenses. A federal law passed in 2005 requires the licenses for domestic flights and visiting military bases, starting in January of next year.
Last week, the Senate defeated the bill over issues of privacy and drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. Republican leaders blame Democrats for killing Real ID.
“It’s unfortunate to try to use this issue as a vehicle for a controversial immigration issue. We are calling on the governor and Senate Democrats to stop blocking Real ID, start working with us to get this passed quickly so that Minnesota can have some surety that they can get on an airplane a little less than a year from now,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said.
Democratic lawmakers showed up at the news conference held by Republicans on Sunday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Representative Paul Thissen said the bill is a top priority for everyone.
“You guys should stay here for a minute, no, come on over. We agree on this issue, that’s the irony of it. We all think that Real ID should get done,” Thissen said. “I really think it would show Minnesotans if you would come over here and join us in a bi-partisan way in asking us to get Real ID done because it is actually something that is strongly supported.”
Democrats said a Real ID bill would have passed earlier had it received just one Republican vote last time it went through the state legislature.